The Star Wars franchise is already a force to be reckoned with in the world of Pinball FX2, but adding a couple of new ones whilst the buzz of the seventh film is still strong seems like perfect timing. Will the Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens Pack offer an exciting, action packed set of tables for the fans to appreciate?
Well, first of all, let me pre-warn you that this pinball pack contains information and scenario recreations that could be considered as minor spoilers from The Force Awakens film. This pack of the same name features two completely different tables that follow elements of the story but from two different perspectives. ‘The Force Awakens’ table focuses on the Resistance plus the new characters such as Rey and Finn, whilst the ‘Might of the First Order’ table prefers the dark side of the Star Wars Universe.
My immediate impression of ‘The Force Awakens’ table consisted of a feeling that it’s visually a little drab. That is partly due to the sandy setting of the planet Jakku, so it cannot really be avoided if they want to keep in line with the film and in fairness it does look spot on. Cast that to the back of your mind though, because I struggled to find another single negative point about the whole table.
For the pinball aficionados whom wish to know about the structure, there are six flippers on the table, only four of which are usable regularly. I’ve learnt to appreciate these extra flippers that add an additional layer of shot choices, making those seemingly impossible shots far easier. The playfield is wide and long enough up until the point where the lanes and ramps are, so that the ball doesn’t come back at you too quickly; there’s time to pick out your next shot.
One of the main features of ‘The Force Awakens’ is the progressive story mode, which allows the player to experience sections of the film using the 3D models that often frequent the tables these days. They couldn’t just chuck parts out there without making some cool pinball mini game to go along with the scenes and that’s where Zen Studios seldom let us down. For example, a game involving the hottest property in the robot world, BB-8, and having to move it around to avoid being caught.
There’s even a sort of failsafe for the less gifted pinball players. Should they struggle on other tables to make the shots needed to complete the main modes, fear not because the longer you wait during the mode, the less shots it’ll take to finish it. That’s a smart move to satisfy players whom want to experience everything before losing all their balls, even if it does mean having a lower score.
‘Might of the First Order’ on the other hand brings multiple opportunities for average players to reach potential high scores. Although there are only three main flippers that are always in use, there are two more underneath the table in a tiny, easily accessible, pinball table. This is where there are many points to be had by hitting all the storm trooper stand-up targets and moving other pinball balls around to prepare for a future multi-ball feature.
Who doesn’t want to see what it’s like to be a part of the First Order? Well, this becomes a very good way when you’re hitting sinkholes to catch the Resistance pilot Poe and taking orders from Kylo Ren himself via sounds that are actually taken from the film. Once again I think the length of the table helps players to be able to take their time getting the next shot prepared. Until a multi-ball occurs of course, and then you’re frantically flipping on both the main table and the small one, watching the score reach heights that you could only dream of previously.
One of the most frequent and best modes I triggered was when a hologram of the Star Destroyer is shown to have an incoming attack from an X-Wing; something which must be avoided with a press of a flipper to turn one way or another. Are the mini games as fun and creative as I’ve seen in ‘The Force Awakens’ table? I’d say no on the whole and that’s the only real drawback. Well, that and the intergalactic view.
Both tables in the Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens Pack have stayed true to the film’s narrative with accuracy in the visual and sound department being as great as they could be; even if the one liners being repeated a lot becomes a slight irritant. The main aim of these tables is to allow fans of the franchise to enjoy the gimmicks and modes, whilst ultimately having fun building high scores to beat all your friends. It ticks both these boxes and I will happily venture into the galaxy many more times.
For Star Wars fans, there’s no doubt that this is a great pack offering value for money. Zen Studios have ensured that the force is strong!